Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums

Recommended Posts

Over the past few weeks I have noticed dead rabbits. Lots of them. On my morning walks there are dozens each day.

Yesterday it hit me that something was happening to the rabbits. There were too many to count. It seemed like there was a dead rabbit under every bush.

Today I heard on the news they are getting sick from a new variant of virus.

https://www.knau.org/post/new-mexico-wildlife-agency-hemorrhagic-disease-killing-rabbits

Strange times we are living in.

  • wow 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a half dozen coming to the bird feeding station here. They enjoy the corn. Will be keeping a eye on the situation. Thank You for the heads up. Yea a few years back just about every critter on 4 legs got wiped out by the systemic plague I think. One ol boy in cruses caught it and died if memory is still functional.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a half dozen coming to the bird feeding station here. They enjoy the corn. Will be keeping a eye on the situation. Thank You for the heads up. Yea a few years back just about every critter on 4 legs got wiped out by the systemic plague I think. One ol boy in cruses caught it and died if memory is still functional.

 

Really hope we get the pass on that stuff here.  Yea happens every few years or so.  Plumb wipes the all out.  Takes a few years before they get the numbers back up but they do.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, homefire said:

We have a half dozen coming to the bird feeding station here. They enjoy the corn. Will be keeping a eye on the situation. Thank You for the heads up. Yea a few years back just about every critter on 4 legs got wiped out by the systemic plague I think. One ol boy in cruses caught it and died if memory is still functional.

 

Really hope we get the pass on that stuff here.  Yea happens every few years or so.  Plumb wipes the all out.  Takes a few years before they get the numbers back up but they do.

"Really hope we get the pass on that stuff here"

Hey homefire, Don't know if you saw this post. The man who got sick was in the hospital last week.

"A couple of weeks ago, an acquaintance friend of mine who lives near Deming, NM recently caught Tularemia (Rabbit Fever) after being exposed to dead jack rabbits. He's recovering but had a rough time of it and still is not 100%"

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Tularemia is carried by ticks and fleas. It is indistinguishable from bubonic plague without multiple serological tests. For all practical purposes it is the plague.

 

You can get it by contact with an infected animal (dead or alive) but the big route of transmission is parasites.

I had a dog infected and we were both quarantined. There was no way of knowing whether it was plague or tularemia until the second test weeks later. 

If tularemia is in the rodent populafion your pets can easily be infected because it is fleas and ticks that spread it. So house pets are as much risk as dead rabbits.

If rodents have tularemia your pets must be kept parasite free and you must insure that no fleas or ticks bite you. It is also important not to come into contact with your pets bodily fluids. The same goes for rodent droppings and urine.

This is what I was told by the NMDOH as well as the Vet when I was quarantined. So I believe it is good info.

It is easy to avoid contact with infected animals. It is much more difficult to avoid contact with infected parasites. Parasites and not animals are the main vector for the disease.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, homefire said:

We have a half dozen coming to the bird feeding station here. They enjoy the corn. Will be keeping a eye on the situation. Thank You for the heads up. Yea a few years back just about every critter on 4 legs got wiped out by the systemic plague I think. One ol boy in cruses caught it and died if memory is still functional.

 

Really hope we get the pass on that stuff here.  Yea happens every few years or so.  Plumb wipes the all out.  Takes a few years before they get the numbers back up but they do.

We have never had this disease before. It is a mutation of a virus that has not been seen in the western hemisphere until a couple years ago. It has never been seen in wild rabbit populations in the U.S. until last month.

They were studying the original virus as a biological control for rabbits in New Zealand. The government decided it was too dangerous to use. Some farmers had their own ideas and put sick rabbits in a blender and spread it. The virus mutated and now we have a brand new and very lethal mutation sweeping across the globe.

They created the same filthy environment as the Chinese wet markets and got exactly the same results. A mutant virus that runs out of control. 

I suspect that any time humans do stupid, awful things to animals that the end result will be similar. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Looks like this disease has spread throughout the southwest. 

It was March when I noticed the dead rabbits in Southern New Mexico. Now it has infected the wild rabbit population all the way to California and across Texas.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/18/us/rabbit-virus-hemmorhagic-disease-scn-trnd/index.html

  • wow 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Bedrock Bob said:

Looks like this disease has spread throughout the southwest. 

It was March when I noticed the dead rabbits in Southern New Mexico. Now it has infected the wild rabbit population all the way to California and across Texas.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/18/us/rabbit-virus-hemmorhagic-disease-scn-trnd/index.html

Nevada too!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, nugget108 said:

Nevada too!!

It did not kill all of them here. At first it kills a whole bunch in a span of a couple weeks. Then it tapers off and leaves a few.

I have seen lots of rabbits lately. They were thick in early spring but really died off in March. Im talking hundreds of dead rabbits all over the place. Mostly cottontails.

I see a lot fewer dead ones in the past couple months. There are still healthy (looking) rabbits out there in the same areas that I found so many dead ones. So it is not a complete die off by any means. At least not yet.

I spoke with a Fish and Game biologist last week. He said some places are wiped out and some areas seem to have immunity or at least resistance to the virus. So they don't really know how bad it might be. He was concerned more about the impact on the entire ecosystem than the rabbit numbers. Even if rabbits took a big hit they come back fast. But the ripples in the ecosystem can feel the effects for a long time. Rabbits are super influential critters and important players in the western deserts.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

It did not kill all of them here. At first it kills a whole bunch in a span of a couple weeks. Then it tapers off and leaves a few.

I have seen lots of rabbits lately. They were thick in early spring but really died off in March. Im talking hundreds of dead rabbits all over the place. Mostly cottontails.

I see a lot fewer dead ones in the past couple months. There are still healthy (looking) rabbits out there in the same areas that I found so many dead ones. So it is not a complete die off by any means. At least not yet.

I spoke with a Fish and Game biologist last week. He said some places are wiped out and some areas seem to have immunity or at least resistance to the virus. So they don't really know how bad it might be. He was concerned more about the impact on the entire ecosystem than the rabbit numbers. Even if rabbits took a big hit they come back fast. But the ripples in the ecosystem can feel the effects for a long time. Rabbits are super influential critters and important players in the western deserts.

Luckily they "Breed like Rabbit's". 😃

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Rabbits are a primary food for predators. When there is a severe die off the predators don't have their usual food source. They turn to the broods of other animals that do not breed as fast and deplete numbers rapidly. Animals like foxes, skunks, baggers, etc. suffer big drops in numbers. Predators like coyotes also migrate into suburban and urban areas to prey on pets when rabbit populations are diminished.

Rabbits eat a lot of small and emerging plant material. This limits a lot of growth and reduces the combustibles at ground level. Without rabbits in the desert the fire risk goes way up. So does the risk to firefighters. So does the cost to fight fires.

A reduction in rabbits causes the proliferation of certain weeds that diminish rangelands. The nutritional value goes down and the noxious weeds proliferate. Cattle require more acreage to thrive and have more growth problems. This directly affects profits as well as meat prices. 

Sickness in any part of the environment affects us negatively. Viruses like these are a direct result of human ignorance and add to the cumulative effects of all the other human ignorance we are dealing with on our rangelands.  

It is easy for people who are ignorant of range biology to pass this off as no big deal. But anyone involved with hunting, ranching, farming or environmental sciences realizes this is a very bad thing for everyone. 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • well done 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great comment Bob!!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Those darn ignorant humans, letting the rabbits breed till there's too many of them. Where are the coyotes when you need them? 

Edited by Dakota Slim
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

The rabbits are really thick in Mohave Valley, AZ this year. A friend who's a long time resident here said he has never seen so many.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, our little back yard water hole has dozens of both cottontails and jackrabbits...They all seem very healthy and are reproducing like crazy...Hope they don't catch it...I love my back yard bunnies!

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There seems to be lots of new little rabbits in our neck of the woods too. The survivors are busy repopulating for sure.

I don't see many jackrabbits this year. But I'm not sure there is a shortage of them. 

I have not seen many dead ones since early spring. And the NMGF has not mentioned much about the disease since then. I think it swept through the area and has subsided. At least for a while.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...